US DoD launches airstrike against al-Shabaab terrorists in Somalia

11 June 2017 (Last Updated June 11th, 2017 18:30)

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has carried out an airstrike against extremist group al-Shabaab in Somalia, on 11 June.

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has carried out an airstrike against extremist group al-Shabaab in Somalia, on 11 June.

In March, the US President Donald Trump authorised DoD to provide additional precision fires in support of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The AMISOM is a regional peacekeeping mission operated by the African Union in Somalia, with the approval of the United Nations (UN).

The consent from Trump allows the US troops to support Somali security forces in their fight against the al-Shabab militant group.

US DoD chief spokesperson Dana W White said in a statement: “This strike was conducted with the authorities approved by the president in March 2017, which allows the US DoD to conduct legal action against al-Shabaab within a geographically defined area of active hostilities in support of partner force in Somalia.

"This will ultimately disrupt the enemy's ability to conduct new attacks within Somalia."

‎"We remain committed to working with our Somali partners and allies to systematically dismantle al-Shabaab, and help achieve stability and security throughout the region.”

The latest operation, which occurred approximately 185 miles south-west of Mogadishu, was conducted by the US in collaboration with its regional partners as a direct response to al-Shabaab actions, including recent attacks on Somali forces.

The US Africa Command estimated that eight al-Shabaab militants were killed in the strike.

Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi was quoted by Reuters as saying: "This was a successful strike that destroyed a key al-Shabaab command and supply hub. This will ultimately disrupt the enemy's ability to conduct new attacks within Somalia."

The US forces are responsible for carrying out partnered military counter-terror operations with AMISOM and Somali National Army (SNA) forces. It is also liable for precision strikes against terrorists, their training camps and safe havens, as well as for hunting and tracking members of this al-Qaeda affiliate throughout Somalia, and around the world.